First ever ‘Technology Against Tornado’ event held on Friday
MARTIN, Tenn. — Tornadoes have the potential to bring destruction in many forms, and one competition was held to look at new ways to bring help.
The University of Tennessee at Martin held their inaugural Technology Against Tornado Student Competition and Exposition on Friday.
This event encouraged the student participants to learn about tornadoes and get inspired to help, just like the UTM assistant professor of engineering who stressed the importance of getting involved.
Other presenters during the event talked about the importance of understanding tornadoes.
Some even talked about the “cry wolf” effect, where people don’t believe that the threat is real due to 75% of warnings resulting in false alarms.
“We want to see how can we ensure that we are predicting tornadoes as quickly as we can, how were we informing people about tornadoes as quickly as we can, how can we make sure that they have the means to get to safety, how can we make sure that they’re alerted and that they’re able to move to a place of shelter. And then it’s also about that follow up. You know, how can we make sure people have what they need when the tornado ends,” said Alisha Melton, the Executive Director of Research, Outreach and Economic Development at UTM.
The event also gave a platform to a man who survived a tornado while inside of his family home. His mom would always tell him if there was ever a big storm, the big tree in the background would fall on the house.
“So as I laid there with my dog underneath me, that’s what I was preparing myself for, the pain that I was going to experience when that tree fell on me,” said Mike Caroll, a tornado survivor.
The competition gave students the ability to be a part of making a difference in someone’s life who has been affected by a tornado.
“It’s a time for them to show that this idea will work, and if they have the funding and interest, then they can further develop that with the help of partnerships,” Melton said.
Other groups that were present included the National Weather Service in Memphis, and the American Red Cross.
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